It’s Time For A Good Old Neck Stomping!

Bible Text: Joshua 10:24-25 (NLT)

24  Joshua told the captains of his army, “Come and put your feet on the kings’ necks.”  And they did as they were told.  25  “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men.  “Be strong and courageous, for the LORD is going to do this to all of your enemies.”

pic DAVID CRUMP.NEWS XMAS SPECIAL WORDS STEVE WRIGHT. CITY OF LONDON POLICE NEWLY DISCOVERED ARCHIVED PICTURES ON TRAINING TO APPREHEND BURGLARS ROBBERS PIC TAKEN OVER A 100 YEARS AGO 1907.
pic DAVID CRUMP.NEWS XMAS SPECIAL WORDS STEVE WRIGHT. CITY OF LONDON POLICE NEWLY DISCOVERED ARCHIVED PICTURES ON TRAINING TO APPREHEND BURGLARS ROBBERS PIC TAKEN OVER A 100 YEARS AGO 1907.

God says, it’s time for us to put our foot on it…

Someone who has been feeling down, somebody who has been feeling distressed, or disappointed, and confused needs to hear this message.  Somebody who has felt something so heavy in circumstance that it felt as though a foot is on one’s neck trying to choke the living daylight out of you; not killing you, but cutting off your breath, making it hard to breathe, taking the JOY out of your life.  We’ve all felt this way at one time or another in life.  Maybe right now.

But now is the time to change!  Hopefully, after reading this blog-study and reading the words in Joshua.

You will begin changing positions –

You are going from being under the circumstances to being on top of the circumstances.

From being under pressure, to being the one applying the pressure.  You are going to put your foot on it!

When you put your foot on it– it means you are in charge.  It means that you are on top of it, it means you are in control, it means that whatever it is you are facing right now… has lost its power to affect you, it means that you have won!

The FIVE KINGS in Joshua –

The FIVE KINGS mentioned in Joshua 10, can represent anything–

Represent financial problems, or marital problems, or physical problems, or spiritual problems.  It can represent debt, or sickness or even some personal problems like addictions–drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc.

Whatever it is, it’s time to put your foot down.

“And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with you”  (Romans 16:20).

AMEN!

Satan has already been defeated, and Jesus has stripped him of his authority and power.

“[God]  disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross]”  (Colossians 2:15).

The devil has NO POWER over my will…

NO POWER over my mind…

NO POWER over my spirit.

It doesn’t matter what the devil does, he cannot take me out of God’s hand!  That said…

Don’t make the tragic mistake–

To believe that the devil has no power; that Satan is weak and helpless, that is a tragic mistake.

The devil is defeated from a God perspective, but he is not dead.

While he cannot affect my standing with God, he can definitely mess with my circumstances, my emotions, and he can manipulate people and things.

He can attack through people, through sickness, through financial problems, through attacks on people I love.

It’s one thing to know JESUS defeated Satan and it’s another thing to see that manifested victory in my own personal experience.

I want more than just a revelation of how JESUS defeated the devil (I want that devil under my feet).

JOSHUA’S Message to His Captains:

Come near and put your foot on their necks.

Why the command for a ‘neck stomping’?  I believe it was to demonstrate that the victory was real.  It was personal, that the enemy was under their feet.  That domination over the enemy was being displayed.

Joshua said to those men, this day is your day.  Instead of running from it, crying about it and even praying about it.

Today, you’re going to put your foot on it.  (And when you do, you’re going to choke the life out of it!).

Waiting for God to Move In and Do Something?

Many times we find ourselves waiting on God; to move in some great supernatural way, and with one swipe, wipe out all our enemies.

But the truth is, to a large degree, God has done everything He is going to do until we do something.

SPIRIT GUT CHECK:  He has given us,  (His Word), (His name), (His Spirit), (the power of Praise), (the Armor of God).

2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

3  For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according in the flesh and using mere human weapons.  4  For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood],  but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds [nourished thoughts: The Word Detective’s insert].  5  [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

NOTICE that Joshua himself did not put his foot upon the necks of the enemy kings, but rather let his captains do tt.

This was to represent the fact this VICTORY belonged to every single Israelite; that every single one of them had defeated their enemies that day.

That means that you and I…

We have the AUTHORITY,

We have the POWER,

We have the WEAPONS (Ephesians 6:11-17).

Quit complaining about it and instead…PUT YOUR FOOT ON IT!  TAKE YOUR GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY!

Luke 10:19:  [Note: Insert your own name when you see the word “you”]

Behold!  I have given you [Mel] authority and power to trample upon serpents and [physical and mental] strength and ability over ALL THE POWER that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you [Mel].

Bringing the Enemy Out of Their Caves

We see Joshua and his men bringing out the FIVE KINGS from their hiding places (Joshua 10:3).

Before you get the VICTORY over that which has burdened you, robbed you, oppressed you, bring it out of hiding.

You have to admit it and identify it.  You have to quit pretending it doesn’t exist, or it isn’t that big of a deal, or that you can handle it yourself, keeping it hidden in a cave.

THINGS THAT CAN GROW IN THE DARK

Fungus growing into mushrooms in a cave
Fungus growing into mushrooms in a cave

The fact is:  Whatever you keep in the dark, grows, and intensifies and multiplies eventually bringing you into slavery–bondage–and if not dealt with–it will DESTROY your life.

Before you can put your foot down and stomp on it, you have to identify it.  Recognize it for what it is.  Expose it.  Get honest with God about it.  And HATE IT, and want to be rid of it.  I don’t want a “fungus” growing in my house, do you?

For twenty years I smoked a pack of cigarettes per day.  I told myself that I couldn’t quit! (No, I didn’t want to quit, because I loved it.)

I hid the evidence from my family; I wouldn’t smoke at home.  And yes, even lied about my tobacco addiction to my wife:  “It’s all the smoke from the office on my clothes and hair that you smell.”

And then one day, I put my foot on the neck of my addiction.  Literally.  I spoke out loud to that pack of cigarettes in 1983,  “I HATE YOU!”  Then I threw the nasty habit on the floor and stomped on it!  The desire was gone…forever.

You Will Never Quit anything If You LOVE IT!

—  You will never quit drinking if you love it.

—  You will never quit lusting if you love it.

—  You will never quit overeating if you love it.

—  You will never quit over spending if you love it.

—  You will never quit quarreling and arguing if you love it.

—  You will never quit holding grudges if you love it.

HOLY HATRED – Psalm 139:21-22:

21 Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?  And am I not grieved and do I not loathe those who rise up against You?  22 I hate them with perfect hatred; they have become my enemies.

In other words, David here was speaking of a hatred born out of love, his love for God was so strong, it made him hate the things opposed to God.

Your love for God must prove you to HATE the things that adversely affect your relationship with Him.  My FLESH may want to learn from a particular direction that it desires, but if it is harmful to my relationship with God, then my spirit man HATES that.

Before You Can STOMP ON IT, You Have to HATE IT!

You can’t tolerate it and conquer it!

You can’t stroke it and conquer it!

You can’t cover it and conquer it!

You can’t deny it and conquer it!

You have to HATE IT…Holy hatred and when you do…go after it to destroy it.

When you passionately hate it, not only will you want VICTORY over it, but you’ll want everyone to have victory over it (a “reformed smoker”);  You’ll want to destroy it!

I don’t know what’s in your life right now that you are fighting.

I don’t know how big it is, or small it is.  But IT’S TIME!  Time for you to put your foot on the enemy’s neck.

When you do, something supernatural is going to happen.  God almighty is going to FIGHT with you.

JOSHUA said to these men:  If you will just turn and fight your enemies, then God is going to fight with you and not one of your enemies will stand against you.

After putting their foot on the enemies’ necks…(Joshua 10:26)

JOSHUA took those FIVE KINGS and killed them on FIVE TREES till the evening so everyone could witness the VICTORY over the defeated foe.

‘If He did it for me, He will do it for you.  Here they are but they are dead now, they have no influence, no power, and no authority over my life.’ 

It is Time to Put your foot down on it –

It might be something like being STUBBORN (believe it or not, stubbornness is not a spiritual gift); it is an offense to the spirit of Christ.

Or, it may be something like being SARCASTIC.  The Bible says that our speech is supposed to be kind and gentle–suppose to minister GRACE to the hearers.

You may say:  Well I’m just telling the truth; I’m telling it like it is.  (Yes, but when you speak sarcastically, you’ve made the “truth” offensive and you become an instrument of offense instead of grace).

I have been guilty of this very thing.  When younger, even while teaching God’s word, I found myself in the cave of SARCASM.

I thought of it as a strength, not as a weakness in my character.  I’ve had to deal with it in my life by admitting it, exposing it, and then hating it.

God can help me conquer that area of PRIDE–self-centerness that raises its head occasionally…if, I put my foot down and stomp on it.

Achieving the Victory –

I don’t presume to know what (“it”) is in your life, but it’s time for you to get victory over it.

It’s time for you to have a good old neck stomping on whatever (“IT”) is.

 

VICTORY WON!
VICTORY WON!

CREDITS:

Exerts from “Put Your Foot Down” by Shelley Wilburn.org

Bible Translations used:  Amplified Bible, except where noted.

Photos:  Google Search (Images); Photo Pin

 

 

Are We Living Our Lives In A Wall?

When God Tells the Story.

When God tells the story of setting aside a special nation, preparing the way for His Son in the Old Testament, He doesn’t hide the truth; the details are displayed openly for all to read and see.

The Family Tree.

God includes the LIAR, the COWARDS, the CHEATERS, the MESS-UPS, and the street-walker.  Character flaws are never a deterrent to God’s greater plan.

*[See Matthew 1:5 for Rahab’s inclusion]

stock-photo-chiangmai-thailand-march-reading-the-new-international-version-of-the-holy-bible-on-the-262562102

Living In Ancient Cities…

Often cities of ancient times are surrounded by thick, solid walls for protection against invading armies.  And as Christians, we sometimes build walls around our own spiritual lives for the same reasons.  We don’t want to get hurt or criticized by the outside world.  If we stay huddled together, never venturing outside the walls, except for well planned evangelism raids to the surrounding countryside; then bringing the assembled captives back behind closed gates in celebration of our own efforts.  “Oh Lord, it’s so hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.”

God’s Church was never intended to be a walled in community of believers; living inside a wall while peering out of a self-righteous window at the lost sinners; eagerly waiting for the next well planned raid into the outside world by our well-meaning church leaders.

Living In A Wall.

In ancient times, the heavy expense plus the consuming time to build solid walls for protection, led to an alternative city wall design we call a CASEMATE.

A CASEMATE
A CASEMATE

A casemate consisted of two thinner walls; parallel walls with an empty space between them.  It was faster and cheaper to build, and afforded the inhabitants extra living space.

In times of war, the space could be quickly filled with dirt and stones creating a thicker, solid defensive wall.

We too, have a tendency to use our church building as the “inner wall,” and our homes as the “outer wall.”  And in between?

A lot of dirt and stones in between to separate us from criticism, hypocrisy and self-condemnation.

The Conquest of Jericho (Text: Joshua 2:1-24): 

The reading in Joshua 2 suggest that a woman, by the name of RAHAB, was known as a prostitute and occupied her home on the outside wall.

“…for her [Rahab’s] house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall”  (Joshua 2:15 b. ESV).

The house of Rahab in the Old Testament is PICTURE

The familiar story in Joshua 2 brings to my mind a picture of a FULL CHURCH.  Can you imagine the great transformation that took place in-house of two spies, who brought her into a personal relationship with the God of Israel.

Her inn of iniquity became a house of prayer and worship and when the walls of Jericho fell, only her house remained on the wall; everyone within the house experienced salvation and her house was full!

How did this happen?  Could this happen to us in our own churches?  Are the principles laid down in this Old Testament Book be applied today, so we too, could have a full house at the coming of the Lord?

A Genuine Born Again Experience –

The Blood of Christ…

We have this pictured in this story by the SCARLET THREAD placed outside the window rahabof Rahab’s home in the wall (Joshua 2:18):

“Behold, when we come into the land, you shall bind this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall bring your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household into your house.”

All of the children of Israel had been told of the courage and faith of Rahab.  So in their daily march around the city (Joshua Chapter 6), must have taken note of the scarlet thread on the outside wall.

Rahab_PassoverI’m sure this was likened to the days of THE PASSOVER; this was a type of BLOOD on the door post.

There is POWER IN THE BLOOD!

There was enough power in this scarlet cord that two grown men hold on to its safety as they escaped from a sure death.

There was enough power in this scarlet thread to keep the walls of Jericho from falling on this house.

Rahab the harlot had a genuine born again experience.  No longer did she trust in the idolatrous gods of Jericho.  She had placed her new-found faith and trust in the God of Israel.

Is the church of today preaching, relying on, trusting in the POWER of the Blood of Jesus, or are the leaders of the congregation trusting in man devised programs and false doctrine?

A Life Lived In Holiness!

The day that Rahab TRUSTED the God of Israel would be her last day of harlotry.

The red rope [cord, thread]…

The red cord that might have stood for the house of sin, now, became a symbol of the CROSS.  Rehab’s everyday, ongoing business became God’s business.  Right in the midst of living in a wall, she had become a new creation in Christ Jesus, Saint Rehab.

Could churches today…hang a red rope outside the building, symbolizing the power that can happen by simply people grabbing hold?  How would the lost know of God’s saving grace by a simple, uncomplicated, red thread?

THERE’S POWER IN THE BLOOD!

A Passion for Souls!

Rehab’s heart passion was that of her family and friends.  One by one she compelled them to enter in.

It’s not enough that my church preach with the right doctrine.  That alone will not bring souls into the kingdom.

It’s not enough that church members live lives of holiness.  That will not fill up the church seats on Sunday.

THE FIELDS ARE WHITE
THE FIELDS ARE WHITE

The people of God’s Church must have a PASSION to win the lost!  The fields are white unto the harvest.  Where are the reapers?

A Plan of Hope!

The king of Jericho had no plan.  The doomed people within the city hung their heads over the wall while they looked sadly at their coming fate.  Their hearts were trembling from fear of the coming judgment.

Only Rahab had a plan!

Only Rahab had been given the promise of SALVATION.  Her house alone would be the ARK of safety.

As a Church, we have been commissioned by Christ Jesus to SHARE the good news of SALVATION with the lost.  We have a message of hope.  We, the church, know (or should know) the truth of Christ.

RAHAB’S HOUSE IN THE WALL

Rahab’s house is a perfect example of a perfect church.

When we, the Church, become as convinced of coming judgment, and as compassionate as Rahab was of the lost members of her family, we too will have a full church.

I’m disheartened, disappointed in hearing people in the body of Christ say, “Oh, I just love a smaller church!  It’s so much more friendly than a large church.”  Really? More friendly to who?

Can the Old Testament Church RENEW a challenge within our church walls to become the Church of God’s plan?

Remember again the cry of the Father:

So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full’  (Luke 14:23, N.L.T.).

 


Credits:

Bible History Daily – Rahab the Harlot Robin Ngd – 9/23/2013;  The Jericho Scenario – The Open Scroll;  The Sermon Notebook – Tearing Down the Walls; Bible Archaeology, Travel with Luke Chandler.

Bible Translations used: 

Amplified Bible, English Standard Version, New Living Translation.

Images used:

Photo Pin; Google Images

 

 

 

Palm Trees In A Dry And Thirsty Land

A STUDY IN THE PSALMS–Psalm 92:12-15

The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the PALM TREE…(verse 12).

In preparation for this blog, if I were going to address how it is to “flourish like the palm tree,” researching the PALM TREE’S characteristics was important to the study.

ATTRIBUTES:

There are over 300 species of Palm trees, growing from 3 to 100 feet tall.  The DATE PALM produces over 300 pounds of dates annually.  That’s a lot of fruit.

Fruit of the PALM TREE
Fruit of the PALM TREE

When growing up in Southern California, there was always the presence of palms–along side beaches, front yards, landscapes, everywhere.  In fact, there are towns and cities named for the abundance of PALM TREES.

My wife and I went on our honeymoon to PALM SPRINGS California.  There’s even a town in the desert called 29 Palms.  An OASIS in the desert.

welcome-to-twentynine

HISTORICALLY, the Palm Tree has been called the REPRESENTATIVE TREE of Palestine, where it has stood through the years as a symbol of the land of our LORD.

At the triumphal entry of Jesus as He made His entry to Jerusalem before His death, people broke off palm branches and waved them in front of Him.

Looking at a picture given to us of the victorious Children of God, given to us by John in Revelation 7:9, he says among other things, that they were “clothed with white robes and PALMS in their hands.”

The Bible says in Psalm 92:12, the PALM TREE has several characteristics that gives us pictures in the life of the Christian.

#1.  THE PALM TREE BREAKS THE BANDS –

Unlike other trees, as the tree grows, it breaks the band surrounding the trunk.

In most other trees, bands placed around the wood when young, dig into the trunk.  I’ve seen pictures of an old clothesline wire wrapped around the tree when young, sunk deep into the wood as it appears to be strangling the life out of the tree as it grew.

While in Hawaii, wide bands are placed around the Coconut Palm Trees to prevent rodents from attacking the fruit; the “bands” are broken by the growth of the tree and periodically must be replaced in the groves.

The true CHILD OF GOD can claim victory through Christ–

We don’t have to continue in sin…

Romans 6:1-2, 6, 11-14;

1 Corinthians 15:57;

Romans 8:37.

#2.  THE PALM TREE WILL BEND–BUT NOT BREAK!

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Even in HURRICANE FORCE WINDS, the palm tree is able to withstand the storm.

And as the storms of life approaches, it causes many disasters for those not serving God.

But the child of God, like the PALM TREE will bend, but doesn’t break in the storms that will come our way.

#3.  THE PALM TREE IS A SURVIVOR–

Still Standing in the Storm
Still Standing in the Storm

Not only does the PALM TREE grow in the desert, it flourishes!

The roots go deep below the burning sands, finding moisture down deep below the surface, anchoring its stability in the bedrock.

“…and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that ROCK WAS CHRIST”  (1 Corinthians 10:4 NIV).

Although the HURRICANES we are familiar with come ashore to large populations and not deserts, the principles still apply–DEEP ROOTS.

As a child of God, we must go DEEP with God if we’re to flourish.

Without a deep tap-root, and only surface feeding roots…fibrous roots, it will do nothing but cause unstableness to the tree in the storms of life.

To go deep, we must live the Christ-like life:

“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me”  (Galatians 2:20 King James Version).

To go really deep…we must fervently PRAY.  

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says,  “Be unceasing in prayer–praying perseveringly” (Amplified Bible).

So it is NOT theology, NOT psychology, but “kneeology” that encourages our deep rooting.

MANY CHRISTIANS today are not flourishing…

BECAUSE, they’re seeking nourishment on the surface only–running their ROOTS of life out laterally.

Shallow rooted believers look to the world for refreshment and come away still thirsty.

True Believers send their TAP ROOT deep in into the Word of God and prayer.

#4.  PALM TREES GATHER TOGETHER IN THE WILDERNESS–

One tree standing alone will never produce much shade in the wilderness’ hot sun.

AN OASIS
An OASIS in the Sun

 

But a group of PALM TREES gathered together, forms an OASIS–stay together and stand as BELIEVERS.

Orange and lemon trees can be found growing in the desert beneath the SHADE of the PALM TREES grouped together.

When we group together, as the church gathers together, we can provide shade for those who are spiritually weaker than ourselves.  That’s why HEBREWS 10:25 is so important in a dry and thirsty land:

“Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching”  (Amplified Bible).

Since “we are the church,” whether gathered together in a large building, or a private home, or in an underground meeting place in China, we are to gather together as an OASIS.

#5.  THE HEART OF THE PALM TREE IS ALIVE!

The life of the palm tree is on the inside.  Outward abuse doesn’t affect the life or quality of the tree.

Because the child of God has a life deep within the HEART (soul and spirit)–they are free from a sin nature.

Romans 6:17-18 NIV Bible:

“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become saves to righteousness.” 

Our lives as God’s children is seeded within us (2 Corinthians 4:16).

#6.  THE OLDER THE PALM TREE–

The Encyclopedia Britannica says this about DATE PALMS longevity:  “Palms are known to live as long as 150 years. Though their fruit production declines, with scared trunks visible, the fruit produced in the later years is often sweeter!

Though I don’t want to live to the age of a palm tree, I do hope and pray as I grow older, my FRUIT will still be as SWEET.

** [Biblical verses pertaining to FRUIT: Matthew 12:33; Luke 8:14-15; John 15:1-8; Galatians 5:22-26.]

As Christians grow older, our fruit should grow sweeter.

The SCARS OF LIFE produce the fruit of holiness and the TRIALS OF LIFE conform us, prunes us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29).

#7.  THE PALM TREE CAN’T BE GRAFTED–

I remember my father-in-law telling me about his small avocado ranch in Vista, California. “Root Rot” destroyed many groves one season, forcing him to make a difficult but necessary decision:  Sell the farm, or…he took the “or”.

He cleared the diseased avocado trees, planted lemon trees in their place.  But after a few years, lemon prices dropped below market cost, and another decision was undertaken.

He GRAFTED limes on to the lemon rootstock because limes were more valuable wholesale and citrus trees are compatible to graft.

HORTICULTURALISTS say, to GRAFT a palm tree is to kill it.  

THE PALM TREE, unlike the lemon and lime trees, is distinctive and unusual.  That’s why grafting kills it.

To GRAFT A CHRISTIAN into the world, kills one’s testimony and influence.  

As a true believer, the Christian is to be unique and easily distinguished from the world.

“I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren…”  (Romans 12:1-2).

#8.  THE PALM TREE IS AN EVERGREEN–

“They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green”  (Psalm 92:14 NIV).

I have lived in the Evergreen State (Washington State) now for over 35 years.  Coming from Southern California originally, I have come to enjoy the evergreen trees that are in abundance and part of the landscape; seen from every home and automobile window.

EVERGREEN is a symbol of immortality.

The child of God will never die spiritually, having an everlasting life (John 3:16, 18, 36).

When I awake every morning, I give THANKS to my God and Savior that I am “planted in the house of the Lord”; that like the PALM TREE, my fruit is growing sweeter every day by the renewing of my mind daily (Romans 12:2), in Christ Jesus; that the Word of God will keep me fresh and green as the PALM TREE.

It is good to praise the Lord…to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…How great are your works, O Lord, how profound are your thoughts!  The righteous will flourish like a PALM TREE, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon…  [Selected verses from Psalm 92]

I hope an pray that this blog has given you encouragement in whatever you are going through in life and a testimony to others around you.


CREDITS:

DATE PALM FACTS: Wikipedia the Date Palm; Encyclopedia Britannica.

PHOTOS:  Photo Pin, Google Search.